Gunmen kill guard, abduct 8 expatriates in Bauchi

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BY ADEKUNLE ALIYU & SUZAN EDEH with Agency Report

List of kidnappings of foreigners in northern Nigeria
BAUCHI — Gunmen kidnapped eight foreigners and killed a security guard when they stormed the compound of a Lebanese construction company, Setraco, in Bauchi State, yesterday, the police said.

Among those abducted were a Briton, an Italian, a Greek and five Lebanese workers, including a woman and a child.

Bauchi Police Commissioner Mohammed Ladan said the gunmen attacked a police station and a prison overnight before storming the construction firm’s compound in Jama’are town.

He said: “We repelled the attack on police station and the security men at the prison yard also repelled the attack, but they burnt two vehicles in Jama’are police station.

“They then attacked Setraco construction, killed a security guard and succeeded in kidnapping people.”

Ladan who did not disclose the identity of the people kidnapped said Police had commenced investigations into the separate attacks, adding that he will only give detail of the kidnapped workers of the company after investigations.

The Italian foreign ministry confirmed one of its nationals was taken in the raid. A spokesman for the British Embassy in Abuja said it was investigating.

Meantime, Chairman of Jama’are Local Government Area, Alhaji Adamu Aliyu, has explained that the eight people kidnapped in Setraco Construction Company are expatriates.

Aliyu who stated this while speaking with newsmen in Bauchi, noted: “Among the workers kidnapped werer one from Britain, one from Greece, one from Italy  while the remaining five are Lebanese.”

List of kidnappings of foreigners in northern Nigeria

Below is a list of kidnappings in the mainly Muslim north.

- May 12, 2011: A Briton and an Italian working for a construction firm are kidnapped in Kebbi state, near the border with Niger. They are killed on March 8, 2012 in neighbouring Sokoto state during a botched rescue operation.

President Goodluck Jonathan said they were killed by their abductors, identifying Boko Haram. What is believed to be Boko Haram’s main faction denied involvement.

- Jan 26, 2012: A German engineer is abducted on the outskirts of the city of Kano. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claims the kidnapping. He is executed on May 31 by his captors during a military operation at the site. A security source said the operation was a rescue attempt, but Nigeria’s military later signaled that it did not know the German was at the location when it began the raid.

AQIM is not known to operate directly in Nigeria, but experts believe it has links with elements of Boko Haram and splinter groups.

- Dec 19, 2012: A French engineer is abducted in Katsina state, bordering Niger. Radical Islamist group Ansaru claims his kidnapping, citing France’s push for military intervention in Mali as a justification.

Ansaru is thought to be a Boko Haram splinter group focusing on kidnapping and potentially with links to AQIM.

- February 16, 2013: Gunmen storm a construction site in Bauchi state, kidnapping seven foreign workers and killing a security guard. Two Lebanese, an Italian and a Greek are confirmed by their governments to be among those seized. Nigerian police say the victims include four Lebanese, an Italian, a Briton and a Greek.

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